Delaware outdoor gathering limit raised, restaurant cap remains
WILMINGTON – Gov. John Carney signed an order Monday increasing outdoor gathering limits and easing capacity restrictions in outdoor venues effective at 8 a.m. Thursday, April 1.
Outdoor gatherings in spaces with no fire occupancy restrictions are now limited to 150 people instead of 50, or higher with a plan approved by the state’s Division of Public Health (DPH). This includes outdoor weddings, funerals, concerts, parades, festivals, conventions, fundraisers, sporting events and fairs, among other events. Gathering restrictions apply in outdoor spaces that do not have a stated fire capacity.
Outdoor venues with fire occupancy restrictions and with more than 100,000 square feet of public space must limit occupancy to 50% of stated fire capacity. Any outdoor venue hosting more than 150 people must still have a plan approved by DPH to mitigate spread of COVID-19.
Outdoor venues with fire occupancy restrictions and with less than 100,000 square feet of public space must limit occupancy to 75% of stated fire capacity. Any outdoor venue hosting more than 150 people must still have a plan approved by DPH to mitigate spread of COVID-19.
Carney’s order also removes the two-spectator limit for sporting events. And the revision allows the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to issue an additional 1,000 surf fishing vehicle tags for the 2021 season.
Indoor gatherings or events at any business or indoor space open to the public remain limited to the lesser of fifty percent of stated fire occupancy or twenty-five people.
Food and drink establishments remain at 50% of stated fire occupancy requirements, excluding employees, despite pleas from restaurateurs to reopen the sector.
“We know that gathering outdoors poses a lower risk of COVID-19 infection and transmission,” Carney said in a statement accompanying the order. “That’s why we’re comfortable easing certain outdoor restrictions as we head into Spring. But until we can get enough Delawareans fully vaccinated, keep following the basic, common-sense public health precautions. Wear a mask when you’re around others. Avoid large gatherings when possible. Get the COVID-19 vaccine when your number is called. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. Stay vigilant.”